MediaVest USA CEO Brian Terkelsen (pictured, right) kicked off realscreen‘s Branded Entertainment Forum in NYC this morning (October 23), with a spirited talk about the opportunities and risks for brands working in the non-fiction realm.
In conversation with Advanced Media Ventures Group MD, television commentator and digital media consultant Shelly Palmer (pictured, left), Terkelsen discussed the evolution of branded content over the past 10 years. “Branded content as a business is going to morph,” Terkelsen told delegates at New York’s Sentry Centers. “It’s already morphing.”
He added that the unscripted space “has always been the scariest part for brands to enter into,” on account of the fact that reality stars can be uncontrollable, and occasionally risky to associate with.
He referenced the recent Lance Armstrong controversy as an example of the risk involved in attaching a brand to a personality, and the fact that the cyclist’s long-time sponsor Nike is now “having to have a very hard look at something they’re been involved in for a very long time. But the more honest you are, the better off the overall relationship will be and you can weather that storm.”
Despite the risks of reality, Terkelsen cited the relationship between CoverGirl and America’s Next Top Model as one of the most successful unions he’d worked on.
And he added that even with very blatant product placement, viewers are “really hard to offend – I would suggest that there’s a forgiving audience out there.”
Realscreen‘s Branded Entertainment Forum continues this afternoon with two case studies, Usain Bolt in a League of (his) Own and IKEA: Fix This Kitchen, and two panel sessions: Branded Content Beyond TV and The Great Branded Entertainment Debate.